Documents: Town Pursuing Installation of Cell Tower Behind West School


More than five years after neighbors and parents voiced objections to a similar plan, town officials are once again considering the installation of a cell tower behind West School.

The town has been working with a Danbury-based wireless infrastructure company to site a tower at 769 Ponus Ridge, the 47.4-acre parcel where West School is located, documents show. 

According to the public packet for Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, the town is considering two sites east of the Aquarion-owned water tank back of West School for a 125-foot-high “monopine” tower. Both “Option A” and “Option B” are due east of the school, with the latter very close to the Winfield Lane cul-de-sac. 

Homeland Towers is scheduled to discuss the plans before the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to the meeting agenda. 

Town officials through the past two administrations have worked to address a lack of cellular coverage in large areas of the town. 

The idea of siting a cell tower in the woods behind West School isn’t new. The New Canaan Utilities Commission—which First Selectman Kevin Moynihan rendered “dormant” four-plus years ago, over the objections of then-Selectman Kit Devereaux—in 2017 concluded following years of work and research that West School was “ideally situated” for boosting cell coverage in the western, northwestern and even southern parts of town, to the bottom of Frogtown Road. Specifically, the Utilities Commission said at the time that hired consultants (the same Homeland Towers) had found a point east of the water tank that’s at a good elevation for a tower that will cover a wider area. Neighbors and parents objected, saying it would be unsightly, would affect property values and could pose a health risk to the schoolchildren, among other negatives. That proposal, and a similar one for Irwin Park, were later scuttled.

Locals for the past week have been discussing the apparently resurrected proposal. As part of a June 21 pre-hearing interrogatory overseen by the Connecticut Siting Council regarding a separate application for a cell tower (at 1837 Ponus Ridge, by the reservoir), Homeland disclosed that it was working with the town on a tower at the at the West School parcel.

To this question—“Town officials have stated that several additional towers are anticipated to be sited in New Canaan, including 2 or 3 more towers in the western part of New Canaan. Please state all other sites being considered by Homeland Towers in New Canaan, as well as provide all information concerning sites that Homeland Towers believes are being considered by the Town of New Canaan.”—Homeland responded as follows:

“As a matter of confidentiality, Homeland does not typically share sites that are being considered for future development. Homeland is actively working with the Town of New Canaan to site a wireless facility on town-owned property at 769 Ponus Ridge Road. In the past, Homeland has considered sites on town-owned property located at 848 Weed Street, Oenoke Ridge and 394 Main Street.”

Two years ago, state officials approved a cell tower on a private property at the end of Soundview Lane in northeastern New Canaan.

Like all public schools, the property where West School is located is owned by the town.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *